SEIJI OZAWA INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY SWITZERLAND
in residence at the Fondation Louis Vuitton
Teachers of the Academy
© Nicolas Lieber
As the founder and mentor of the Tokyo String Quartet, with which he played for 30 years, he led it to world prominence. During this time the quartet won many awards for its exceptional technical command and dynamic performance style. Harada began studying music under his father, and at the age of 11 continued his musical training with Hideo Saito. He was the youngest principal cellist of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra prior to moving to the United States, where he attended the Juilliard School, and in 1969 he founded the Tokyo String Quartet. Since 1999 Harada has maintained a busy international career as an acclaimed soloist, teacher and chamber musician. Sadao Harada is currently a professor at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Trossingen, Germany.
© Nicolas Lieber
Nobuko Imai is considered to be one of the most outstanding violists of our time. After finishing her studies at the Toho School of Music, Yale University and the Juilliard School, she won the highest prizes at both the prestigious international competitions in Geneva and Munich.
Imai, formerly a member of the esteemed Vermeer Quartet, combines a distinguished international solo career with various teaching commitments. She has appeared with many of the world's most prestigious orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebow, the London Symphony and Chicago Symphony. As a keen chamber musician, Imai has performed with prominent artists such as Gidon Kremer, Midori, Isaac Stern, Mischa Maisky and Martha Argerich. In 2003 she formed the Michelangelo Quartet, which quickly gained an international reputation and is now recognised as one of the finest quartets in the world. Nobuko Imai has dedicated a large portion of her artistic activities to exploring the vast potential of the viola.
Imai returns to Japan several times a year to perform as a soloist and for the annual Viola Space project. In 1995/96 she was artistic director of three Hindemith Festivals, at London’s Wigmore Hall, Columbia University in New York, and at the Casals Hall in Tokyo. In 2009 she founded the Tokyo International Viola Competition, the first international competition in Japan exclusively for viola. From 1983 to 2003 Imai taught at the Detmold Academy of Music, and is currently professor at the Geneva University of Music and at the Amsterdam Conservatory, as well as Kronberg International Academy and Ueno Gakuen University in Tokyo.
© Nicolas Lieber
Pamela Frank was introduced to music at an early age by her parents, both professional pianists. She took up the violin at the age of five. After studying with Shirley Givens, she continued her musical education with Szymon Goldberg and Jaime Laredo. In 1989 she graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Frank has gained a remarkable international reputation across an increasingly varied range of performing activity. As a soloist, she has appeared with countless leading orchestras around the world. She made her debut with a recital at Carnegie Hall in 1995, and triumphed in a cycle of Beethoven sonatas, performed with her father, Claude Frank, at London’s Wigmore Hall in 1997. Frank is particularly passionate about chamber music and has played with musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma, Tabea Zimmermann and Peter Serkin.
She has been a guest at major festivals including Marlboro, Salzburg and Edinburgh. Frank has also participated in several of the Isaac Stern chamber music seminars at Carnegie Hall. In 1999 she received the Avery Fisher Prize, the highest award for US musicians.